Made for Learning -How the Conditions of Learning Guide Teaching Decisions is the result of 60 years of research and theory building by Australian educator Brian Cambourne, articulated and described with abundant classroom examples by American educator Debra Crouch.
Three years of Zoom sessions made it possible for the two educators to collaborate on a regular basis, challenging and encouraging each other to understand Brian’s original work in novel and innovative ways. Through integrating the Conditions of Learning research with new theoretical understandings, the co-authors present an insightful analysis of teacher decision-making and classroom practices. Made for Learning offers educators a well-thought-out and up-to-date exploration of learning and teaching.
The core of the book explores the multi-faceted, yet natural processes, underpinning learning to read and write. The authors challenge the commonly held assumption that learning to read and write are unnatural processes. Built on Brian’s original research observations of young children learning to speak, the Conditions of Learning address the necessity of nurturing a responsive classroom environment for all learning to occur, whether that learning is virtual or in-person. This intentional culture for learning happens not in isolation but as part of an integrated whole. An addition to the theory that has blossomed since the publication of Brian’s first book in 1988 is a deeper understanding of the role of language in the learning process. How teachers interact with learners and the language they use has a resounding impact on the learning that occurs.
In Made for Learning the authors describe a Discourse of Meaning-Making and explain and illustrate how to make that discourse the dominant language of the classroom. When the Conditions are coupled with four Processes That Empower Learning, an extension of the theory in the last three decades, teacher decision-making promotes the active participation of learners in their own literate journey. How that active learning looks, sounds, and feels becomes tangible in the multitude of classroom examples found throughout the book.
These classroom examples bring the Conditions of Learning to life and are unpacked to explore and analyze the specific teaching decisions leading to student learning. The authors offer educators concrete tools to use the Conditions of Learning as a framework to explore their own practices to strengthen learning experiences for every student.